The preseason has come and gone. Jackets fans have spent the last few months experiencing the gamut of emotions as it relates to our Columbus Blue Jackets. Happy about the playoffs? Was going “all-in” worth it? Will the team tank without Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky? Will they make the playoffs? Forget ‘if’, by how many points will they make the playoffs? We believe...we don’t believe…
When it comes down to it, I think the reaction on The Cannon has been pretty even-keeled. Few folks seem to think the team is headed for 31st, few think the Jackets will win the Metro either. So, we all seem to be doing alright.
However, we’re the fans. Homers to one degree or another — even the negative nellies. What did the national pundits think? Those folks with a broader view of the league? After the trade deadline and again after the playoffs, most experts who opined made it seemed like a universal given that the CBJ were sunk if all the FAs left.
All the FAs left.
Do the national experts and pundits still think the CBJ are sunk?
A nice, clean way of illustrating how you think a team will perform. Several outlets presented point totals for the league. On the high end, the CBJ writers over at The Athletic are optimistic about the Jackets this season. Aaron Portzline is feeling 99 points and Alison Lukan chips in at 94 points. Both feel the Jackets are playoff-bound.
Evolving Wild has the Jackets with 92 points. Sounds pretty good! He also has a standard deviation of 9.48 points. I’ll just go ahead and round that down to 9...and assume the CBJ will be on the positive side of that...and PRESTO! Evolving Wild predicts Columbus to hit 100 points! Check out the table.
Here are our initial NHL team point projections for the 2019-2020 season. pic.twitter.com/eNkaDllAlH— EvolvingWild (@EvolvingWild) September 30, 2019
Kevin Allen, of USAToday, puts the Jackets at 90 points, missing the playoffs, but still being a competitive team. His projection isn’t kind to the Metro, generally, but he has the CBJ just missing out by a point.
And at the tail end, probably no surprise, Ryan Lambert over at Yahoo Sports thinks the powder in the Cannon is wet and expects little but fizzle from the boys in Union Blue. He has the CBJ last in the Metro with 77 points.
Personally, I find myself more optimistic than I likely will be my mid-season – but I’m always like that early on. I think Portzline and Lukan are as much about the CBJ being good as they are the rest of the Metro not improving that much. Lambert has no faith in the goalie situation. All of these are legitimate takes. Probably all will be more wrong than right.
Not everyone likes to do a standings predictions and power rankings are an easier way to do a periodic review of a team.
Adam Gretz, NBCSports, starts the CBJ right about the middle of his rankings at 16th, good for 5th in Metro. He also wrote a piece on why the CBJ may not be all that bad – which is a nice read for Jackets fans.
What makes the Blue Jackets tough to predict is that there is a lot that is ‘unknown’ about the team. This starts in net as Joonas Korpisalo hasn’t shown much in his overall career to date and Elvis Merzlikins is fresh to the North American ice. It isn’t much difference on the offensive side. A lot of unknowns. Cam Atkinson and Pierre-Luc Dubois will likely take point dips without Bread, which will hopefully be offset by continued growth from Oliver Bjorkstrand and by Gustav Nyquist’s existing ability. The goal scoring gaps will have to be filled by newcomers to the scene. Alexandre Texier and Emil Bemstrom have the optimists’ cup filled to the brim – but will it translate to the game?
If the unknowns turn out to be net positives by April, this team will be playoff bound. If the unknowns are anything less – from average to poor – this team will likely be playing duck pin bowling my mid-April.
Whether by power rankings or by points in the standings, how do you rate your Jackets?
As the team stands now — How will it finish up?
This poll is closed
In the playoffs
Team wins more than it loses, but not in playoffs
When are the draft articles coming out?